You Make A Difference! Our 2022 Stakeholder Appreciation Event

September 20, 2022

For the first time in over 3 years, we held our annual Stakeholder Appreciation Event in person! It was a wonderful night to celebrate our impactful work, honor the friends of Camp Fire Iowa, and look ahead to the future.

We are so grateful to be surrounded by our incredible donors, volunteers, advocates, and board members for an evening at Forte Event Center. The evening started off with a cocktail hour for everyone to meet new staff and get to know one another by bonding over their shared experiences with Camp Fire. We had a 9th-grade student and guitarist from Johnston Middle School, Jeremiah Blackwood, provide lovely accompaniment to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests.

Our Board President, Eric Schulz, and Executive Director, Kelly Peterson, gave a short presentation recognizing our 2022 sponsors, reflecting on our summer programs, and looking ahead to the future of Camp Fire. A special thank you to our 2022 In-Kind Donors & Sponsors – Central Iowa Tree Care, Jason Loecker, Molitor Construction, Midland Power, Patriot Homes of Iowa, Green State Credit Union, For Sure Roofing & Sheet Metal, and Moffitt’s Ford Lincoln. Below are some of our favorite highlights shared throughout the evening!

Reflecting on Summer 2022…

  • 944 unique campers served across all programs
  • 11 weeks of day camp; 7 weeks of overnight camp
  • $92,844.50 given in camperships to qualifying families!
  • 40 campers attended Camp Brave fully funded by the Department of Justice. Camp Brave is designed specifically for youth who have been impacted by crime.
  • 40 campers attended Overnight Camp on scholarship from Des Moines Refugee Support.

A Look Ahead at Our Plans, Hopes, and Renovations…

  • 44 School Day Off Camps and 6 sessions of overnight opportunities happening during the 2022-23 school year.
  • New Middle School and Teenage Camp Opportunities launching this fall.
  • New Before & After School Programs launching this fall.
  • New Outdoor Education Program with DMPS. providing in-school outdoor education at 5 elementary schools this fall (Madison, Windsor, Garton, Brubaker, and Oak Park).
  • Multiple Rental Groups coming into our facility! Other camps are renting Camp Hantesa for programs, many fall weddings take place at Camp Hantesa, and ISU Honors are back at Camp Hantesa!
  • Renovations planned for Miles & Nelson Cabins.
  • Renovations to the Hickman Office through a state matching grant to create more program-specific space.
  • Seeking DHS Licensure for sites and programs.
  • Continued expansion of our sites & programs!

Most importantly, we were able to connect with one another again. Our opportunity to connect in-person, face-to-face, is something we have all learned not to take for granted!

If you are interested in supporting our work, it’s not too late! It takes $50 to support one youth for one day in our programs. To show your support, please visit

To stay connected with us, please follow us on social media, @campfireiowa, and sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know of all Camp Fire Iowa initiatives!